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James McInerney
Works at University of Manchester
Attended National University of Ireland, Galway
Lives in Manchester, UK
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James McInerney

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As science week approaches and the dust settles on the annual Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) research summit, it’s timely to ask where Irish science is headed? Sadly, it appears to be over a clif...
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Chair in Evolutionary Biology, The University of Manchester. Domain Director for Evolution, Systems and Genomics, Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health

James McInerney's BSc and PhD were awarded by University College Galway, where he studied from 1987 until 1994. Subsequently he worked as a post-doc at the National Diagnostics Centre in Galway and in the Department of Zoology at The Natural History Museum, London. In 1999 he set up the bioinformatics research group at NUI Maynooth and became the director of the Genetics and Bioinformatics degree course. In 2015, he moved his research to The University of Manchester and now holds a Chair in Evolutionary Biology and is currently the Domain Director for Evolution, Systems and Genomics in the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health.

In 2002, at MEEGID VI at the Pasteur Institute in Paris, Prof. McInerney was presented with a medal for his research and a year later he was recognized by NUI Maynooth for his research achievements when he was awarded the NUI Maynooth Young Investigator Award. In 2009, he was an invited guest-editor, along with Prof James Lake and Prof. Mark Ragan of a special issue of Proceedings of the Royal Society of London (Biology Series), which is the world’s oldest continuously-published journal. In 2011, he gave the “Ernst Mayr” Keynote lecture at the Mechanisms of Protein Evolution meeting in Denver Colorado.

He was one of the founding directors of the Irish Centre for High End Computing. He is currently working as a Senior Lecturer and is an Associate Editor of Molecular Biology and Evolution and he is a regular commentator on scientific matters on TV, Radio and in the print media.

Work in the lab is focussed on gene and genome evolution, with the emphasis at the moment on horizontal gene transfer in prokaryotes and mobile genetic elements and gene family evolution in vertebrates. Prof. McInerney has supervised 27 PhD students, been awarded Marie Curie fellowships, been funded to the tune of more than €3.5 million (Ireland) and £600K (UK) in direct research funding and been involved in more than €39 million in programme grants. In addition, he has published in Science, PNAS, Current Biology, TREE, Trends in Genetics, Proceedings of the Royal Society of London and so on. In total he has published more than 100 articles and been an invited speaker at more than 80 conferences.


Parallel processing, genetics, molecular evolution, prokaryotic genomics, phylogeny reconstruction, metagenomics

  • National University of Ireland, Galway
    Microbiology, 1987 - 1994
    BSc (Hons) Microbiology
  • National University of Ireland
    Evolutionary biology, 2011
    DSc in Evolutionary biology
Basic Information
Chair in Evolutionary Biology
Molecular Evolution
  • University of Manchester
    Chair in Evolutionary Biology, 2015 - present
  • NUI Maynooth
    Professor, 1999 - 2015
  • Harvard University
    Visiting Professor, 2012 - 2013
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Manchester, UK
Cambridge, MA 02138 - Maynooth, Ireland - London, UK - Galway, Ireland - San Francisco, USA
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